wrestling / Columns

Can Alexa Bliss Save The Womens’ Tag Team Championship?

August 11, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Alexa Bliss WrestleMania 34

I’m a big fan of women’s wrestling. I’m also a big fan of tag team wrestling. The introduction of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship was something I really wanted to get excited about. The enthuasism of Bayley & Sasha Banks over the matter was infectious. They wanted the division so badly, and it seemed like the perfect next step for the women of WWE. Should I have known better? Was the division always doomed to mediocrity? Could things have been different?

Yes. Yes. Probably not.

One of the main things people wondered about was if there was enough depth. I wrote a column meant to highlight the depth in the division by listing options for the first tag team championship team. Of the six teams I listed in December 2018, only two of them still exist. (I guess you could argue that “Natalya & Somebody” exists based off of Raw, but we’re more likely to see Sasha Banks & Bayley teaming next month than we are to see Trish & Natalya stay a thing.) Even by WWE tag team standards, that’s not a good percentage.

Some of it couldn’t be prevented. Nia Jax & Tamina both got injured, taking the monster tag team out of the equation. Nikki Bella got put on the permanently inactive list due to her neck issues, meaning the Bella Twins couldn’t be the top heat-getting heel team. Not ideal, but WWE still has to take credit for some unforced errors here.

The Riott Squad were split up…to do absolutely nothing of note. It’d be one thing if any of them did anything, and maybe Ruby Riott was going to before she got hurt, but Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan are barely seen or mentioned these days. I’ve yet to hear anybody provide a legitimate reason for splitting this group up. Wouldn’t Logan & Morgan be better off teaming, even as a second-tier team that puts people that the writers actually care about over, than doing whatever they’re doing now?

Then of course there’s the whole Bayley & Sasha thing. Everything seemed to point towards these two being given a strong push and the chance to go all over WWE to establish the championships. Heck, they even made an NXT appearance to try & build something with somebody there. That went kaputski at WrestleMania, and we haven’t seen Sasha on WWE television since. It would have been one thing if they were losing to build something with a new team that WWE Creative was solidly behind and wanted to make a big deal of.

Instead, they lost to The Iiconics.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Billie Kay & Peyton Royce & what they bring to the table. They should have been a great choice as a couple of loud-mouthed ditzes that somehow managed to hold on to the championship by the skin of their teeth night after night. Yes, their act is pretty annoying, but that’s the point. You’re supposed to be irked by their ridiculousness. The more they get on peoples’ nerves, the more people will want to see them lose.

It’s a great idea in theory. In execution…well, instead of barely hanging on to the championship by somehow winning matches, they held on to the championship by never having matches. Kay & Royce had a grand total of two title defenses during their four months as champions. They had one TV match during the month of July, two during June & two during May. They were all over the place in April, but for the most part they were on the losing side of things.

Brock Lesnar thinks they worked a light schedule as champions.

It wasn’t their fault. It’s not like they were telling the writers that they wanted the night off. The deal was that Creative had nothing for them. Azuka & Kairi Sane as a team got the Internet excited, but they didn’t do anything for the folks backstage. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville almost had a title match that would have established they deserved a shot at a title match. The idea of going to NXT or NXT: UK was more than likely never discussed by anybody with any say.

Is there reason for hope? Can things get better now that Billie & Peyton have dropped the straps? I might be a little optimistic here, but I really believe that they can for one simple reason:

WWE Creative actually cares about Alexa Bliss.

When hasn’t Alexa been a featured part of WWE programming? Even when she was out of action due to injury, she was hosting Moment of Bliss segments every week and getting plenty of microphone time. Most WWE Superstars fall off the face of the earth when they can’t wrestle. Not Alexa. Vince McMahon and the rest of the creative team won’t let that happen.

People associated with Alexa tend to get some attention too. Nikki Cross hadn’t done a thing in the ensuing months since getting called up from NXT until she appeared backstage trying to be Alexa’s friend. Once she got on Bliss’s side, she became a viable television character that people cared about, instead of some random screaming person that we had no idea why they were screaming all the time.

Look, I like the Iiconics. Most of you probably like them too. But to be realistic about it, most of the WWE Universe didn’t care. The champions became a non-entity over the few momnths they had the straps. That doesn’t happen to a tag team that the company believes in. WWE obviously believes in Alexa Bliss, and whoever is with her by association. The fans care more about Alexa too. I know some people like to act like Alexa’s overrated, but the fans pop for her appearances & matches.

The women make the title

Wrestlers make secondary championships work. If the people don’t care about a wrestler, throwing a belt on them isn’t going to help that much. Throwing a new belt on somebody the fans don’t care about doesn’t do anything but establish the new title as not worth paying attention to. With Alexa as part of the mix, now people have a reason to care.

Alexa & Nikki still need some competition. The Kabuki Warriors were the runners-up in the match, but we’ll need to see more from them to believe that WWE has faith in the duo. Fire & Desire seem closer to a random split than a championship run. The Iiconics? They’ll need a lot of rebuilding to make people not take then as anything other than a joke.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. Putting the championship on Alexa Bliss at least convinces me that somebody in WWE wants to do the work.

article topics :

Alexa Bliss, Steve Cook